In Brief

iPad glitch delays dozens of flights

American Airlines replaced manuals with iPads to stop pilots injuring themselves with heavy flight documents

Dozens of American Airlines flights were delayed yesterday because of a glitch in the Apple iPad software used by pilots.

The airline introduced tablet computers a couple of years ago to replace the heavy printed manuals, navigational charts and other paper materials pilots were required to carry around. But yesterday "several dozen" flights were affected by a software outage.One passenger on board a flight from Dallas to Austin told Quartz: "The pilot told us when they were getting ready to take off, the iPad screens went blank, both for the captain and co-pilot, so they didn't have the flight plan."Another passenger said other flights had experienced the same problem. "It seemed unprecedented and very unfamiliar to the pilots," he said.A spokeswoman told the Dallas Morning News: "Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads. In some cases, the flight has had to return to the gate to access a wi-fi connection to fix the issue."The airline apologised to passengers and later said it had identified the issue. "We've identified the solution and we are working on it right now," it added.According to Forbes, American Airlines introduced the iPads partly to eliminate injuries caused to pilots forced to carry up to 18kg of documents.The company said the move had reduced the "single biggest source of pilot injuries", saved $1m of fuel a year and meant the airline no longer had to waste paper on printing out page revisions.American Airlines last week announced its support for the Apple Watch. The company among those to build an app for the new device, enabling passengers to check-in from their smartwatch and check flight information "with just a glance at your wrist".

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